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ECOWAS Risks Its Hard-Won Reputation

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on March 6, 2020

ECOWAS’ reputation for upholding democratic norms is facing strain as a growing number of West African leaders alter rules to consolidate power and resist stepping down at the end of their mandated terms.

ECOWAS’s Efforts at Resolving Guinea-Bissau’s Protracted Political Crisis, 2015-2019

Recommended research   published by ACCORD on September 2, 2019

A power struggle between former President José Mário Vaz and Guinea-Bissau’s ruling Party for the Independence for Guinea and Cape Verde plunged the country into a series of political and institutional crises following the dismissal of Prime Minister Domingos Simões Pereira in August 2015. From the beginning ECOWAS took an active role in resolving the impasse, embarking on several rounds of mediation missions led by former and current regional heads of state, as well as a delegation of regional ministers. The culmination of these efforts resulted in the October 2016 Conakry Accord, a 10-point roadmap for resolution designed to foster political stability and cooperation among the country’s governing members. ECOWAS’s sustained engagement in Guinea-Bissau provides a blueprint for future political and institutional crises in the region.

Making Arms Embargoes in Africa More Effective

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on November 22, 2021

Arms embargoes can be effective but require regional and international buy-in, adequate monitoring, and the imposition of sufficient costs on actors who evade the sanctions.

Russia’s Wagner Play Undermines the Transition in Mali

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle and Daniel Eizenga on September 23, 2021

The prospective deployment of Russia’s Wagner mercenaries should not be confused with addressing Mali’s security situation but is a means of expanding Russian influence while propping up the military junta.

Walking Back the Coup in Guinea

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle and Daniel Eizenga on September 17, 2021

Recognition of the coup in Guinea would incentivize future military interventions. Yet, simply reinstating President Alpha Condé would not restore democracy. Several possible paths could be followed to return Guinea to constitutional order.

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation at 21: Where to Next?

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on September 3, 2021

African countries can negotiate a more equitable role in FOCAC, but this requires a more strategically focused approach, better coordination, and greater accountability to their citizens.

Implementing Regional Strategies to Counter Violent Extremism and Terrorism

A Webinar on Thursday, December 3, 2020, designed to expand understanding of the key technological and geopolitical trends driving Africa’s digital revolution of most concern to African security sector professionals; explore the main ways in which rising internet penetration, technological innovation and the diffusion of cyber capabilities are influencing Africa’s national security landscape; discuss and consider how the COVID-19 pandemic influence how the digital revolution will impact Africa’s security landscape; and identify the cyber capabilities and intentions and of key national security actors, including states, criminal networks and terrorist groups.

The Dismantling of Benin’s Democracy

Spotlight   published by Mark Duerksen on April 27, 2021

President Patrice Talon’s manipulation of electoral rules and cooption of democratic processes have caused Benin to slide quickly from a multi-party democracy to a semi-authoritarian regime, portending heightened instability.

Enhancing Security-Justice Coordination to Counter Transnational Organized Crime

A virtual academic program cohosted with the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism that focuses on effective community policing as a tool for countering violent extremism. This program provides an opportunity to capture and share insights, experiences, and lessons, among countries and across regions, about both the implementation challenges in community policing and the practical experiences in bridging gaps between the security sector and the communities they are entrusted with protecting and serving

Taking Stock of Africa’s 2021 Elections

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle and Candace Cook on January 12, 2021

A wide spectrum of credibility marks the 13 African elections slated for 2021. This has direct implications for the legitimacy of the leaders that emerge and their ability to navigate the security challenges they face.

Safeguarding Democracy in West Africa

Spotlight   published by Alan Doss on September 29, 2020

West Africa must stand up against the erosion of democracy lest the region return to the devastating conflicts from which it took so much effort and time to recover.

The Legacy of Military Governance in Mali

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on September 25, 2020

After leading a coup against a democratically elected government, junta leader Colonel Assimi Goïta has attempted to rehabilitate the image of military government in Mali.